Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Sightings of Butterflies in Suffolk - 2017

The Branch is always grateful for butterfly records and a recording form can be downloaded from the conservation section of this website.  We would be particularly grateful for records away from the coast and information on the following species:
BAP species; Dingy Skipper, White Letter Hairstreak, Silver-studded Blue, White Admiral, Grayling, Small Heath, Wall Brown
Others; Green Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak, Silver-washed Fritillary, Purple Emperor, Chalkhill Blue
(not Devil's Dyke)

Join Butterfly Conservation - click here to go to the National Butterfly Conservation website to join.

Send Us Your Sightings
We are always interested in sightings of any butterflies in any location in Suffolk.
email them to (please make sure you enter a subject) and they will appear below within a few days.
Clicking on this link should launch your usual email program.  If this does not seem to work just use the email address.

If you see a Brimstone this record will also be passsed to the Brimstone and Buckthorn project

Please include the date, how many of each butterfly species seen, location with an ordnance survey grid reference if possible, and your name (if you want to).
If you would like to contribute to the annual survey please read the notes on the Recording page.

Regular recorders are urged to use this sightings page to inform others of interesting sightings, but please do continue to send all your records to the county recorder at the end of the season as usual.

Return completed form by November to 20, Langstons, Trimley St Mary, Suffolk IP11 0XL  or to

If visiting Purdis Heath, Pipers Vale and Landseer Park (or any other site for that matter) please keep to footpaths and recognised tracks and do not trample heather, ant nests or any other vegetation.  There are plenty of places where you can see butterflies from the paths.  Keep dogs on a lead.

Date  Butterflies seen (and other relevant information).  First Sighting of Year in Bold or Bold for rarer species
For a summary of First Sightings see the Suffolk Butterflies Page - click here
Location Grid Reference Name
28 Mar The butterfly transect season starts with Week One on 1st April, but early walks are accepted too.  So on 28th March, at 15C and with 100% sun, I did a preliminary walk at my Spring Lane (Bury St Edmunds) site in Week zero, and was rewarded with 3 Small Tortoiseshells, One Brimstone and one Comma. Bury St Edmunds   Rob Parker
27 Mar 1 Small Tortoiseshell Loompit Lake   Will Brame
27 Mar 1 Peacock Upper Hollesley Common   Will Brame
27 Mar The following were on a circular route around Rushmere Common, Foxhall Stadium and Purdis Farm Lane. 19 Comma, 2 male Brimstone, 3 Peacocks and 1 Small Tortoiseshell Purdis Farm   Patrick
26 Mar Speckled wood, trapped in summerhouse Halesworth TM3843377945 John Baker
26 Mar 6 Comma, 12 Peacock, 43 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral SWT Carlton Marshes   Robert Quadling
26 Mar Comma this afternoon  (photo click here) Woodbridge   Scott Mayson
26 Mar Saw a Speckled Wood in woodland about midday Dunwich, Greyfriars Wood   Robert and libby Johnson
25 Mar First Small Copper of the Suffolk year reliably reported on 25th March from Mildenhall Mildenhall    
25 Mar Brimstone, Comma and grass snake Wolves Wood.   Steve Babbs
25 Mar Grass snake, Peacocks, Commas and Small Tortoiseshell Alton Water   Steve Babbs
25 Mar 2 Peacocks butterflies seen today, Carlton Marshes and garden. Small Tortoiseshell (photos click here) Carlton Marshes   Peter Ransome
25 Mar 4+ Commas and several Brimstone Brandon Country Park   Graham Hersey
25 Mar Spotted two Peacocks in flight this afternoon, much to my delight. ( let's hope we see lots more)   IP31 2FD Tracie Beattie
25 Mar 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacock, 9 Comma Peewit Hill   Will Brame
25 Mar 1 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell Felixstowe Ferry   Will Brame
25 Mar 6 Comma in the woods Foxhall Stadium   Patrick
25 Mar 1 Red Admiral Rushmere Common   Patrick
25 Mar 1 Small Tortoiseshell along Purdis Farm Lane Purdis Farm Lane   Patrick
25 Mar Two Small Tortoiseshells Hemley TM2941 Jenny & Gary Plank
25 Mar Two Peacocks and a fine male Brimstone Kirton Creek TM 2941 Jenny & Gary Plank
25 Mar 1 male Brimstone at 11 35 am on wing Braziers Wood   Peter Compton
25 Mar 1 male and one female Brimstone on wing at 12.09pm today many others Comma , Peacock and 1 White Alnesbourne Priory   Peter Compton
25 Mar My son has just seen and photographed (photo click here) a Small Tortoiseshell in feeding on rosemary flowers Felixstowe, Hamilton Gardens TM30508 34490) Peter Paul Hayes
19 Mar A Red Admiral and a Comma together in a sheltered spot at Bawdsey picnic site.     Bawdsey   Margie & David Carter
16 Mar Peacock, Tuddenham St Martin IP6 9BH Peter Hodge
16 Mar Encountered only one male Brimstone butterfly, two Comma butterflies that were both basking in the warm sunshine and a courting pair of Small Tortoiseshells. Private land near the Orwell country park. nearOrwell country park   Daniel Cable-Davey
16 Mar Saw Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock on walk around Shotley Gate Shotley Gate   Ian Peters
16 Mar 3 Small tortoiseshells 4 Commas 2 Peacock Peewit Hill   Will Brame
16 Mar Beautiful at Carlton Marshes  total of 41 butterflies spotted. 23 small tortoiseshells 16 peacocks 2 comma  Carlton Marshes   B.O.B education
16 Mar Brimstone - Oulton Broad, Comma - Tom Crisp Way, Peacock - Whitton Road, Small Tortoiseshell - Saltwater Way Lowestoft   Antony Wren
16 Mar .My daughter spotted a small blue butterfly, Holly Blue, on her school field today flying around the hedges.(may be the earliest Suffolk sighting see the Suffolk Butterflies page here)     B.O.B education
16 Mar In warm midday sunshine, along only about 30 metres of hedgerow with Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera) in full flower here in Kelsale I counted the following: Small Tortoiseshell 2, Comma 3, Peacock 4 (+ another in my garden).  These figures suggest a huge emergence of butterflies in the last few days of warm weather, and the importance of nectar sources like Prunus - my local bushes were also swarming with honey bees and bumblebees too! Kelsale   Charles Cuthbert
16 Mar I would like to report the sightings of 2 Brimstones, 3 Peacocks and 3 Small Tortoiseshells along the River Gipping at Needham Market Needham Market   Robert Brown
16 Mar 2 Brimstone, 2 Comma, 3 Peacock, 15 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Red Admiral Lound Lakes   Gavin Durrant
16 Mar Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Red Admiral all seen so far Sizewell Estate   SWT Coastal warden
16 Mar PEACOCK Sudbury 8841  Martin Peers
15 Mar Brimstone , Small Tortoiseshell Tuddenham St Martin IP6 9BH Peter Hodge
15 Mar Brimstone 4 males, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell 2 Sudbury 8741 & 8841 Martin Peers
15 Mar Nacton Road entrance Track by wooden seating area through trees leading to ponds  4 Comma 1 Peacock Holywells Park TM 17808 43535 Fred Hanniffy
15 Mar I managed to see my first Small Tortoiseshell and first Peacock of the year. Newton, Suffolk   Dean Morley
15 Mar 2 Comma, 4 Peacock and a Red admiral IGC, Purdis farm, Suffolk   Neil Sherman
15 Mar Male Orange-Tip (may be the earliest Suffolk sighting see the Suffolk Butterflies page here) Lowestoft   James Wright
15 Mar My 1st sightings of 2017. 2 Brimstone and a Small Tortoiseshell at Martlesham Heath near Tesco this lunchtime. Martlesham Heath   Kevin
15 Mar Another Spring day at Elveden CP, highlights 4 adders plus a common Lizard, Woodlark Singing, several Commas, Brimstone,Small Tortoiseshell , Red Admiral Elveden CP   graham HerseyG
15 Mar Small Tortoiseshell , Shingle St nr last white house Shingle Street   Dave Pearsons
15 Mar Might as well join in Brimstone, Hollesley villiage Hollesley   Dave Pearsons
15 Mar A good day for butterflies here in Kelsale with very warm conditions at midday.  In a short walk around the village centre (Main Road/Bridge Street/Dennys Lane) looking mainly at Cherry Plum in full flower I saw the following: Brimstone: 2 males highly mobile Small Tortoiseshell: 1 feeding on Cherry Plum flowers Comma: 3, all feeding on Cherry Plum Peacock: 2 (one on Cherry Plum, one in the churchyard (photo click here), Green-veined White: 1, flew past me fairly quickly, no chance for a great view but from my impression of a 'small white' with greyish underwing I am confident of this species. Kelsale   Charles Cuthbert
15 Mar Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshell Shingle St.   Margie & David Carter
15 Mar A Small Tortoiseshell  this morning Boyton Marshes RSPB   Margie & David Carter
15 Mar A Red Admiral and a Peacock in our Ipswich garden this morning, the Peacock was feeding on Perennial Wallflower Ipswich TM157463 Paul Gilson  
15 Mar Ellough Industral Estate,  1 Male Brimstone at 10.05am , 1 Peacock at 12.40pm ,1 Small Tortoiseshell at 3.10pm Beccles TM 4488 Robert Quadling
15 Mar Plenty of Butterflies along Breydon N.Wall today, 15+ Sml.Tort., 3 Peacock, 1 Comma, 1 Brimstone Breydon   Tommy Corcoran
15 Mar Small tortoishell and peacock butterfly at Hoseasons building garden area Gunton   James Wright
15 Mar 1 peacock and 3 small tortoiseshell Bawdsey Hall   Simon Piotrowski
15 Mar Comma and Brimstone on st marys path. Trafalgar close Ipswich   Simon Piotrowski
15 Mar Another brimstone opposite all saints church hall Woodbridge Rd Ipswich   Simon Piotrowski
15 Mar 2 small tortoiseshell and a brimstone Pakefield beach   Antony Wren
15 Mar First sighting in my garden this year of a butterfly, a brimstone Haverhill   Duncan FletcherBrown
15 Mar 6 Comma's 1 Peacock 2 Small Tortoiseshell's Peewit Hill   Will Brame
15 Mar A single Small Tortoiseshell this morning flying around the railway tracks Brockford. TM129659 Geraldine Smith
15 Mar A lunchtime -  2 Tortoiseshells on the heather and a male Brimstone skirting the Buckthorns.    Framlingham TM 287634 Geraldine Smith
15 Mar Comma x 10 settling or feeding on litter (plenty of that) (photo click here), Peacock x 1, Red Admiral x 1 and Brimstone male x 4. Mundford Road. Brandon   Trevor Goodfellow
15 Mar Three Brimstones in the garden today Pin Mill IP9 1JL Lesley McDonald
15 Mar Encountered today five individual Brimstone butterflies,two Comma butterflies which are my first of the year,a mating pair of Peacock butterflies and a courting pair of Small Tortoiseshell butterflies. Private land near Orwell country park Ipswich. Near Orwell Country Park   Daniel Cable- Davey
15 Mar 2 Brimstones and 1 Red Admiral in flight Sapiston ( Heath Lane)   Tracie Beattie
14 Mar Spotted 1 Brimstone and 1 Peacock in my garden   IP31 2FD Tracie Beattie
14 Mar 4+ Small Tortoiseshells there today SWT Carlton Marshes   Jeremy Halls
14 Mar One Peacock butterfly flying near the scrapes at RSPB Minsmere this morning RSPB Minsmere   Charles Cuthbert
14 Mar 4 species of butterfly enjoyed in Ipswich today - Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell (lots), Peacock & Comma Ipswich   Matt Berry
13 Mar COMMA 3, Thorington Street TM0035 Martin Peers
13 Mar Comma seen today at IGC Suffolk, plus Bombus terrestris and pratorum. Ipswich Golf Club   Neil Sherman
13 Mar I saw my first Small Tortoiseshell today at Levington, plus my first bumble bee Levington,   Patrick
13 Mar I would like to let you know that I have seen my first Comma butterflies of 2017 today.  One was on Landseer Road Ipswich sitting on a white flowering shrub by the road side and one was in a garden in Fairfield Road ipswich. Hope this information is helpful. Ipswich   Karen Child
13 Mar I saw a comma - the first of the year Hoxne   Joan Retallack
13 Mar Small Tortoiseshell 3 and  Comma 2 in my Lowestoft garden today Lowestoft   Bill Whybrow
13 Mar One Small Tortoiseshell in the sun this afternoon Kesgrave/Dobbs Wood TM2345 Gary Plank
13 Mar Nice to start my 2017 Suffolk butterfly year. at last. Two Commas in the garden! One favouring the sun lit shed.  Trimley   Bill Stone
13 Mar Red Admiral, Comma and Peacock butterflies today Elveden Center Parcs   Graham Hersey
13 Mar Encountered two beautiful Brimstone butterflies and one Peacock butterfly flying in the warm noon sunshine on private land near the Orwell country park. near Orwell country park   Daniel Cable-Davey
13 Mar 1 Comma, 3 Small Tortoiseshells Landguard   Will Brame
13 Mar 8 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Peacocks, 5 Commas (photos click here) Peewit Hill   Will Brame
13 Mar Entrance to Bixley Heath, Bucklesham Road, Ipswich 5 Comma; 4 more Comma, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacock further down path around stream. Bixley Heath TM 19964 42 Fred Hanniffy
13 Mar The most promising spring day yet.  At 13C in the shade and 20C in the sun.  At noon, my first garden butterflies of the year: One Comma, and 2 minutes later a male Brimstone that made a fleeting pass at our Buckthorn.  . . Bury St Edmunds TL8464 Rob Parker
13 Mar Comma 2 SW Ipswich   Richard Perryman
12 Mar In my garden a Peacock flew over head! Ipswich   Robert Brown
11 Mar A Small Tortoiseshell at midday Bawdsey Quay picnic site   Margie & David Carter
11 Mar First recorded butterfly for 2017, Peacock only see the one (photo click here) SWT Carlton Marshes TM 508920 Robert Quadling
10 Mar 2 Commas   TL989637, Peter Rutt
10 Mar My first butterfly of the year today, a Small Tortoiseshell Framlingham Castle Mere   Eddie Bathgate
10 Mar   Comma (Polygonia c-album), Suffolk Third site species recorded so far this year along with Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock. (photo click here) Eden-Rose Coppice, Sudbury   Sam Chamberlin
10 Mar  Comma 1, Small Tortoiseshell 2 Peewit Hill   Will Brame
10 Mar  Small tortoiseshell here in Ipswich today. Ipswich   Neil Sherman
9 Mar Red Admiral Tuddenham St Martin IP6 9BH Peter Hodge
9 Mar BRIMSTONE male Newton Road Sudbury 8841 Martin Peers
9 Mar Brimstone 20+ near Mayday Farm, Brandon; also 3 Commas and two Red Admirals Brandon   Bill Plumb
9 Mar Male Brimstone butterfly Ipswich   Neil Sherman
9 Mar Along the river Gipping at Needham Market I saw : one male Brimstone, one Peacock and three Small Tortoiseshells.  Needham Market   Robert Brown
9 Mar Having got excited about a Peacock yesterday I met some close neighbours all in the same tetrad in Framlingham last night. So there were three sightings of a male Brimstone on 9th March just not in my own garden. Maybe he will appear today and notice the Buckthorn bushes now 6ft tall  Framlingham  TM 287634  Geraldine Smith
9 Mar  First Brimstone inspecting the polyanthus in large glasshouse at midday  Walled Garden (photo click here) Saxmundham     Jim Mountain
9 Mar Saw my first Small Tortoiseshell today at work along with Comma and Brimstone  (photos click here)     Gi Grieco
9 Mar Nice bright yellow Brimstone in the Lattice Ave garden today, 1st of the year Ipswich   Dave Pearsons
9 Mar My 1st butterfly of the year: Brimstone outside Oulton Community Centre Lowestoft   Richard Martin
9 Mar One male Brimstone Carlton marshes   Gavin Durrant
9 Mar Three male Brimstones at Cavenham Heath this morning in sheltered areas away from the brisk wind.   Cavenham Heath   Margie & David Carter
9 Mar 1 Small Tortoiseshell Landguard butts   Will Brame
9 Mar Just seen my first butterflies of 2017; two male Brimstones Newton, Suffolk   Dean Morley
9 Mar At last - a Peacock flying in my garden in the sun this afternoon. Nice specimen not all bedraggled as so often usual for first sightings. There don't appear to be any other sightings yet from Framlingham this year?    Framlingham   Geraldine Smith
9 Mar 1 x Red Admiral, 1 x Peacock, 2 x Comma, 5 x Brimstone males. (Photos click here) Santon Downham.   Trevor Goodfellow
9 Mar Saw a Comma in my garden to day at 11.50 am Nightingale Road Ipswich   Peter Compton
7 Mar My first recorded Butterfly of 2017, at 12.40 pm today 1 Small Tortoiseshell only Ellough Industral Estate Beccles   Robert Quadling
7 Mar 1 Red Admiral Levington Creek   Will Brame
7 Mar Encountered a Red Admiral butterfly and my first of the year Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on private land near the Orwell country park. near the Orwell Country Park   Daniel Cable-Davey
28 Feb Not the first of the year for Ipswich I see, but maybe earliest record so far for ?? In the sun on pile of recently sawn logs by wilderness pond. photo click here Christchurch Park, Ipswich   Denise Johnson
24 Feb Cold here in Suffolk, 9C, but still saw a Peacock, presumably blown out of hibernation by Doris Barnham   Paul Harrison
22 Feb Peacock blown across the garden in the wind.  Not sunny so probably disturbed. SW Ipswich   Richard Perryman
20 Feb Brimstone Felixtowe golf club TM 3237 Chris Springthorpe
20 Feb Red Admiral Bury St Edmunds TL8464 Rob Parker
20 Feb Red Admiral basking on leaf litter in the afternoon Kesgrave Wood TM2345 Jenny Plank
20 Feb Saw first Brimstone on allotments Pinmill   Keith Cooper
20 Feb Saw 2 Small Tortoiseshell around the Sizewell Estate Sizewell   SWT Coastal warden
20 Feb Wife has just seen her first butterfly of the year in Somerleyton: Brimstone Somerleyton   Richard Martin
20 Feb One of the pleasures of railway travel - sightings of Brimstones today at Needham Market, Elmswell,Thurston and just before Kennet. Needham Market   Stella Wolfe
20 Feb My first Brimstone of the year was seen at Gt Dingle between Dunwich and Walberswick this morning. All the best. Gt Dingle   Mike Morley
20 Feb Male Brimstone zipped through the garden this morning in breezy Suffolk, too fast for a photo Barnham TL8779 Paul Harrison
20 Feb My first Small Tortoiseshell of 2017 seen near Ixworth Ixworth   Trevor Goodfellow
20 Feb 1 Brimstone on the wing this morning Denston Hall Gardens   Mark Ferris
20 Feb Encountered two Brimstone butterflies and one Red Admiral butterfly flying on private land near the Orwell country park Orwell country park   Daniel Cable-Davey
20 Feb Saw a beautiful male Brimstone in my garden at 12 20 am today.  I am so happy. Nightingale Road Ipswich   P Compton
20 Feb Comma sunning itself on south facing fence SW Ipswich   Richard Perryman
20 Feb A quick sighting for you. Male Brimstone fluttering around ivy in the sunshine in our Ipswich garden. Ipswich   Julian Dowding
17 Feb 2 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies seen this morning at Carlton marshes in the sunshine Carlton marshes   Gavin Durrant
17 Feb Saw two Red Admirals today plus Small Tortoiseshell Barnham TL8779 Paul Harrison
17 Feb Peacock midday Hollesley marshes   Bill Plumb
16 Feb Red Admiral basking in the weak Suffolk sunshine (photo click here) Barnham Suffolk TL8779 160217 Paul Harrison
14 Feb Red Admiral flying in Hamilton Gardens, Felixstowe Felixstowe TM 3051 3449 Christopher Hayes
14 Feb Red admiral seen Northfield Wood, Onehouse   M Girling
13 Feb 1st butterfly for the year out in the sunshine today in  - a Peacock. Bombus terrestris too. Ipswich, Suffolk   Neil Sherman
2 Feb Red Admiral - basking on the sandy bund of a freshly created scrape Purdis Heath   Helen Saunders
24 Jan Peacock flying at mid-day (reported to me by another visitor) Lackford Lakes   Richard Perryman
10 Jan Red Admiral flying yesterday near Euston Hall Euston Hall   Will Brame
8 Jan Red Admiral in my garden in Kedington, Haverhill (photo click here) Haverhill   Mark O'Gallagher
1 Jan Small Tortoiseshell found indoors released into cover (so not a true outdoor sighting) Felixstowe   Bill Stone

2012 Sightings      2013 Sightings      2014 Sightings      2015 Sightings      2016 Sightings

Photographs from 2017 Sightings  (all pictures are the copyright of their owners)

Red Admiral 8 Jan - photo Mark O'Gallagher

Red Admiral 16 Feb - photo Paul Harrison

Comma - photo Denise Johnson

Comma - photo Trevor Goodfellow

Brimstone - photo Trevor Goodfellow

Brimstone - photo Jim Mountain 

Small Tortoiseshell - photo Gi Grieco

Comma - photo Gi Grieco

Comma - photo Sam Chamberlin

Peacock - photo Robert Quadling

Comma - photo Will Brame

Small Tortoiseshell - photo Will Brame

Comma - photo Trevor Goodfellow

Peacock - photo Charles Cuthbert

Small Tortoiseshell- photo Peter Paul Hayes

Small Tortoiseshell - photo Peter Ransome

Peacock - photo Peter Ransome

Comma - photo Scott Mayson
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